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Professor Genevra Richardson

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Room: SW2.07






Genevra Richardson came to King’s in 2005. She had taught for many years at Queen Mary, University of London, where she was Dean of the Law Faculty from 1996 to 1999. Prior to this she was at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in Oxford. Genevra Richardson started out as a public lawyer but has become increasingly interested in law and medicine and, in particular, law and psychiatry. She was book review editor of Public Law for many years and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Mental Health Law and the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry.

Professor Richardson’s academic interests have led to her involvement in a number of related activities. In 1998 she was invited to chair the Expert Committee established by the Department of Health to advise ministers on the reform of mental health legislation. The Committee reported in 1999. She has been a member of the Council on Tribunals/Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and is a member of the Medical Research Council, the Steering Committee of the UK Stem Cell Bank and the Wellcome Trust's Medical Humanities Strategy Committee. In 2003 she became a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation; in 2004 she was elected to an honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She was awarded a CBE for "services to public law" in the 2007 New Year’s honours and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in July 2007.

Research interests

Genevra Richardson’s research and publications have covered administrative law and administrative justice, prison law and law and psychiatry. While most of her research has been library based she has retained an interest in empirical socio-legal research and continues to be involved in empirical projects. She is frequently invited to present her work overseas and to contribute to international collections and journals.

Currently Genevra Richardson maintains three main areas of research interest: administrative justice, law and psychiatry and the regulation of biomedical research. Her interest in administrative justice relates closely to her work on the Council on Tribunals. In law and psychiatry she continues to examine the possible ethical bases for legal intervention and is also part of a team based at the Institute of Psychiatry which has received funds from both the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust to examine various aspects of consent to treatment within psychiatry. Finally, her involvement with the regulation of stem cell banking has led to a growing interest in the role of regulation in the field of biomedical research.

Selected publications
  • Richardson “Mental Capacity in the Shadow of Suicide: What can the law do?” (2013) International Journal of Law in Context 9, 87-105
  • Szmukler, Richardson and Owen “Rabone and four unresolved problems in mental health law” (2013) The Psychiatrist 37 29
  • Richardson “Mental Disabilities and the Law from Substitute to Supported Decision-Making” [2012] Current Legal Problems 1-22
  • Richardson ‘Mental Capacity at the Margin: the Interface between two Acts’ (2010) 18 Medical Law Review 56-77
  • Gareth S Owen, George Szmukler, Genevra Richardson, Anthony S David, Peter Hayward, James Rucker, Duncan Harding, Matthew Hotopf Mental capacity and psychiatric inpatients: some implications for the new mental health law in England and Wales (2009) 195 British Journal of Psychiatry 256-263.
  • Owen, G.S., David, A. Hayward, P., Richardson, G., Szmukler, G., Hotopf,M, Retrospective views of psychiatric inpatients regaining mental capacity. (2009) 195 British Journal of Psychiatry 403-7.
  • Owen, G.S, David, A. Richardson, G., Szmukler, G., Hayward, P., Hotopf, M. Mental Capacity, Diagnosis and Insight in psychiatric in-patients: a cross sectional study. (2009) 39 Psychological Medicine 1389-98
  • Owen, G.S., Freyenhagen, F., Richardson G., Hotopf, M. Mental Capacity and Decisional Autonomy: An Interdisciplinary Challenge (2009) 52 Inquiry 79-107
  • Owen, G.S, Richardson, G., David, A. Szmukler, G., Hayward, P., Hotopf, M. Mental capacity to make treatment decisions in patients admitted to a psychiatric hospital – cross sectional study. (2008) 337 British Medical Journal 448
  • “Balancing autonomy and risk: A failure of nerve in England and Wales?” (2007) 30 International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 71–80

View full list of Professor Richardson’s publications.



  •  Public Law


  •  Mental Health Law
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